3 months post op, and a look back through my 30’s

Tomorrow will be 3 months since my most recent surgery.  Time has flown by. I realize I haven’t written or updated this blog since I’ve had surgery and thought it was time to open up and share about it.  

The surgery itself went well.  We drove down, got taken right in, prepped for surgery, had the surgery, and was back out and in the car within a few hours.  I don’t remember much from that day, it’s all such a blur now. I was anticipating a few weeks of rest and relaxation, but that didn’t go as well as planned due to some school snow days.  It’s ok though, God did allow me a good week (week 2 post op) of rest and time alone without much stress or worries to spend time with him and fully rest (physically and mentally) which was so needed.  

The pain was manageable and I could tell that something was different fairly early, different in a good way.  I found out at my six week follow up that ¼ of my hip labrum was torn off, and required 4 anchors, and my surgeon had to shave a little more bone off too (which I was not anticipating).  I also found out I have some arthritis already, which I didn’t have last time he was in the hip joint in late 2014 so that was a little disappointing to hear, but he said he smoothed it down and it wasn’t too bad.  He said I would need a hip replacement in the future, but we are hoping to get me to at least age 50 or more first. I’m choosing not to focus on that though, because with God all things are possible so despite what the medical personnel see I may never need one.

I’ve been traveling to Columbus every 2-3 weeks via my friend or my dad to see my PT down there.  It takes a whole day to go down, get PT, and come back, but it’s worth it to have the right therapist who knows me, and knows how I don’t recover like a typical hip patient, and pushes me enough but not too much.  He makes the trip worth it and I don’t trust any other PT after my 3 bad experiences locally from my first 3 hip surgeries. My pain lately has actually been more my low back and last time I was in Columbus 2.5 weeks ago my PT said that I still had some weakness and some things to work on, but I was becoming less of a hip patient, which I took as good news.  We are focusing more on core stability now. With my hypermobility syndrome and the wear and tear of my back from all of the years of hip issues and surgeries I am in constant pain in the low back area and often my SI joints too. Sitting for any period of time and doing activity requiring bending and turning increases the already existing pain, but with the exercises my PT gave me last time I was there I have noticed a little bit of improvement.  I still have to be careful to not overdo it with my hip. I made it through the grocery store the last two weeks, and this past weekend did it without my giant hip brace which I thought was good progress! I overdid it on Easter though and have paid the price the last few days, but hopefully with a bit more rest this flare will subside. I used to freak out about my pain flares, but now I know I just have to rest and wait them out.

So today is my 39th birthday.  I’ve been meditating a lot about this day in the previous weeks leading up to today which starts the last year of my 30’s.  Yago and I chatted about this a little this morning. My 30’s definitely was not what I had envisioned them to be. In my 20’s I was getting married, traveling a bit, buying a house, living life, being a little crazy, and then having my babies.  I expected my 30’s to be what many women envision: settling down, raising my kids through their elementary years, taking them on trips and enjoying fun experiences with them, enjoying my career since I would have been in it 10+ years and knowing pretty well what I was doing, spending time with friends and family, feeling experienced and somewhat mature but youthful and full of energy to do lots of active things…  What I didn’t envision was chronic, debilitating pain, loss of my career, loss of physical fitness and even ability to do most of the basic active things I wanted to do, 6 surgeries and recoveries, having to explain to my kids over and over again for years why I couldn’t do the things they wanted to do together, and my body feeling 80 vs 30.

However as I meditate on those things I almost laugh now because from a worldly standpoint one would think how awful my 30’s have been (and there were many rough years early in my pain and surgical journey where at the time I would have agreed), but honestly now as I look at all of the bad, I can tell you that actually this was the decade that saved my life.  People have always described me as nice, fun, always smiling, enjoys people, etc… and that is how I was on the outside and at times on the inside too, but there was a ton of junk hidden inside. I was actually a very self centered person who was ruled by insecurity and always doubting myself and comparing myself to others and being envious or judgmental or prideful in order to make myself feel better.  This was mostly on the inside, but came out at times as gossip and ugliness to those close to me. I was full of fear and worry and ruled by my emotions. I was so broken inside but didn’t even know it. I lived life each day looking forward to the next ‘fun’ or ‘good’ thing that was coming up in order to have something to look forward to and hope in, the next thing to give me “happiness,” which was just such a temporary thing.  

Through my pain and suffering and having to lose the things I held as my ‘idols’ (my physical fitness, my ability to be active and do ‘fun’ things, my career, my ability at times to provide what my kids and husband needed, my independence-for weeks or months after surgeries having to rely on others for things that my prideful self didn’t want to) I was forced to be alone and inactive.  As an active, exercise freak who is an extrovert these were some of my worst fears coming true. So I had the choice to push into God and dive into his Word and bring my pain and my hurts and junk to him, or I could turn away from him and lean into my pain and choose bitterness and anger. I choose to push in to God, I choose to spend much of that time reading my Bible for the first time in my life, to spend time giving him my heart and asking him to purify it and clean out all of the junk, and eventually I choose to accept my limitations and that my life was never going to be what I thought I wanted it to be and trust that what God was going to do with it was going to be better than whatever plans I had.  None of this was overnight or without struggle or depression, deep depression early on, but God is the one who provides (Jehovah Jireh) and the one who redeems (Adonai Haggo’el). These things he has showed me over and over again.

So even as I lay here writing this still in pain after my weekend flare, I see my 30’s as the decade that God saved my life from the shallowness and self centeredness that I was living in.  He has turned my fear and worries into peace and a trust in him. I have been broken at every level and have seen all of the junk that has accumulated inside of me, and I’m not ashamed of it anymore.  It wasn’t pretty to unpack, and there’s still work to do, but God has healed so much inside of me already. He has given me new life and purpose and has filled me with joy from him vs happiness from my circumstances.  He has surrounded me with good people whom I care dearly for and he has shown me that my life is not all about me, it’s actually about loving him and loving others. I still have to fight my selfish nature at times, but the awesome thing about God is his grace is there when I fall backwards.  I just need to repent and turn back to him. Instead of the OT career I had before, I’ve been given an amazing opportunity to lead a prayer ministry and I get to pray with and for many people who are walking through so many hard things, and I get to see how God shows up and touches people through prayer, prophetic words, and through healing (spiritual as well as supernatural physical healings) and how much at work he really is in the world around me.   

So I will always look back on my 30’s as the years when my life really began.  The years when I came to know the Lord and was broken and pieced back together little by little.  The years when I finally came to know what love really is, and how to receive it as well as how to give it.  The years when I really started to live my life following the Holy Spirit’s lead vs my own lead. I’m so grateful to God today that his plans are always better than ours, and that I don’t have to have everything figured out.  He is so, so good.

Thank you for reading and for your prayers for the surgery.  I really believe they helped, as this was the easiest recovery yet.  God Bless!

8 thoughts on “3 months post op, and a look back through my 30’s

  1. Thank you for sharing your journey with us all, Sis! I’m so proud of who you are and who you are becoming! Praise God!

  2. Julie,

    So great to hear this update. Thank you for continuing to chronicle the journey so we can praise Him as we hear the great ways God is working through it, and bear with you in prayer in the suffering as well. This was beautifully written, and gives words to a process of grief and redemption that I’m sure many can identify with (including myself), and yet maybe have not been able to articulate. I pray that healing words will continue to come forth from you and that you will continue to display His strength being made perfect in your weakness. Thanks again for the encouragement from this post !

    Kate Stiltner

  3. I am so grateful to God for having our you in my life. God placing you in my life has changed my life forever. You strength and love of the Lord has taught me so much. You are a blessing to me and do many others. I love you! Thank you for sharing and being my friend!! ❤🙏

  4. Hi! I would love to chat with you. I’m 13months post op from my 5th hip surgery and from Cleveland! Still on crutches and struggling a bit. I hope we can help one another!

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